9780738208299 / 0738208299

Principles For A Free Society: Reconciling Individual Liberty With The Common Good


Publisher:Basic Books



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About the book:

The term common good makes libertarians cringe, because they view it as a catch-all excuse for governments to increase the power of the state. America's foremost libertarian legal mind, Richard Epstein, addresses these worries, acknowledging a tension between personal freedom and social goals, while suggesting that they can be mutually reinforcing: "Laissez-faire is best understood not as an effort to glorify the individual at the expense of society, but as the embodiment of principles that, when consistently applied, will work to the advantage of all (or almost all) members of society simultaneously."

Epstein is a powerful reasoner, and even skeptical readers will find themselves slowly drawn down a libertarian path. Principles for a Free Society contains a storehouse of detailed information about human nature and the motives of state authority. Epstein deserves a place on the bookshelf beside Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman. --John J. Miller

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